When contractor David Bonheimer found himself in the market for a machine rugged enough to withstand the rigors of his land-clearing business, the Hitachi ZX200LC Zaxis excavator from J.W. Burress was clearly a standout.
The owner of Southern Clearing Inc. in Matthews, NC, knew he needed a machine combining high productivity with ease of use and flexibility. He found what he was looking for in the ZX200LC equipped with the Shinn cutting system, a specialized land-clearing attachment.
Although Bonheimer also owns Komatsu and Cat machines, the Hitachi ZX200LC/Shinn combo has proven a sound choice for the types of jobs he specializes in.
“We use it for right-of-way clearing throughout the Southeast — projects such as water, sewer, natural gas, electric tower distribution — that type of thing. We don’t just go out and clear 40 acres for a Wal-Mart,” he said.
According to Bonheimer, dealing with a job in which a right-of-way might be 40 to 100 ft. (12 to 30.4 m) wide and 1 to 20 mi. (1.6 to 32 km) long is not conducive to juggling multiple pieces of machinery.
Whereas navigating rough or narrow terrain, such as a creek bed, would be extremely difficult for such a fleet, it’s relatively smooth sailing using just the Shinn-equipped ZX200LC, the contractor said.
Describing the unit as “fuel-efficient, fast and powerful,” Bonheimer said the machine’s performance has been enhanced still further by the Shinn, which helps cut through a tree in minutes.
“We own four of them, and are very happy with them,’ Bonheimer said of the Shinn machines, which his company has been using for three years.
In addition to being highly productive, the attachment-equipped ZX200LC is very environmentally friendly, Bonheimer said. It redistributes chips onto the ground, which helps with erosion control.
Despite its heavy-duty use, the ZX200LC has required very little service to date, the contractor said.
“For us, that’s the whole purpose of buying new machines is to keep maintenance and downtime to a minimum,” he said. Hitachis are traditionally high-production, low downtime machines.”
Using the Hitachi is an efficient one-man, one-machine operation, and for Bonheimer, far preferable to trying to manage several machines and the number of employees it would take to operate them.
If it weren’t for the ZX200LC/Shinn combo, a much more complex setup would be required, including, for instance, a couple of dozers and excavators, plus a tub grinder.
As it is, Southern Clearing Inc. clears and grinds about 5 acres (2 ha) a week with the Shinn cutter. Tub grinders would do three times that, but would require more equipment, people and fuel, said Bonheimer.
“It just depends on what you need to do,” he said.
Bonheimer can’t say enough about how pleased he is with the Hitachi, except that it has done a “fabulous and excellent” job for him and his business.
Buying from J.W. Burress in Charlotte was a natural choice, since Bonheimer once worked for the dealer, he said. And as a former sales rep for Hitachi, he believes in the manufacturer and its product line.
As it turns out, the ZX200LS has cleared the way for Southern Clearing Inc. to handle challenging jobs more efficiently and with less downtime.
For more information on Southern Clearing Inc., call 704/301-3355.